NCLEX grades


I promised myself if I were to ever pass, I would share my story with others about my NCLEX experience.

I started studying in May 2016. I started by reading all of Saunders and making my own notes. I used Hurst audio tapes as well. They helped me get a good base of things but I needed something more. I purchased Uworld. My scores begun in the 48's. I was devastated and cried so many times. I couldn't understand why my notes were so low. So I keep studying, using Uworld. Every question that had a "low" average (50% or less) I would mark it - just to make sure I really knew the answer, seeing as many people didn't. Also, every question that I had wrong, or that I didn't know why I had picked that answer, I marked them. I kept doing the questions. Material I didn't know, I would review in my notes. Reviewing my answers took twice as long, if not triple the time it took me to answer the questions. I started easy, with about 20 question quizzes.

In July, I was freaking out. I knew I was writing in August. My scores had moved up to 50%, but in my eyes I was so terrified that that wouldn't be enough. So I decided to look into more. I tried Hurst and NSCBN but didn't like it. I decided to purchase Kaplan (I made 3 payments, since I couldn't afford the entire program). I enjoyed Kaplan. Although I didn't use their decision tree (they teach you this), I learned a lot from them. They forced me to write Q Trainors, known as very long tests. They kept telling me not to eat, text and concentrate the entire time. This built up my stamina. It showed me my weakest areas. What I loved about them, is that they really focus on the components of NCLEX (basic care and comfort, management of care, etc. The questions were hard, very hard. And my averages were low:

Diagnostic - 57

Q1 - 53

Q2 - 60

Q3 - 52

Q4 - 50

Q5 - 59

Q6 - 57

Q7 - 54

Readiness - 59

Know that they suggest you get 65% from Q1-3 and 60% on Q4-7, including Diagnostic test.

I wasn't getting those results. I would read forums and chat room posts. Most people suggesting I re-schedule my exam.

I kept doing Kaplan but also kept up with UWorld up until August. My averages on Kaplan are listed, with an average of 53% on QBank and my Uworld average went up to 52%. Shortly before my exam, I did all the questions I had marked” to test my knowledge.

On August 10th, I passed my NCLEX with 110 questions.

Looking back at the exam, this is how I felt. Although I was nervous and didn't completely feel ready, there was some positive. I knew I had the stamina because of Kaplan. I knew I had the knowledge because of both programs. The questions on the NCLEX were much easier than Kaplan. However, Uworld had the EXACT same layout. The only difference is you can't cross out your answers. I felt so comfortable because this wasn't new to me. Also, I even had a few questions almost exact as Uworld. Although every test is different, I had a lot of Who do you see First.

My advice : I loved both programs. But if you can only afford one, go with Uworld. It's cheaper and will give you the knowledge. However, take every test seriously. Don't eat, shut your phone and try doing the entire 75. This will ease your anxiety the day of the test. For meds and lab values, do cue cards. I also separated all of my meds per category – example heart pills with heart pills and read them over frequently. Didn't know them by heart, just read very frequently. Keep studying them until the exam. Don't cram them last minute. The day before the test, I didn't touch my notes. At nighttime however, I simply reviewed them while watching tv. Know that if you don't know the material already and need to learn it by heart the night before, you don't really know it. So don't stress about what you don't know. That'll only build anxiety. During the test, take breaks! I breaked at 50 and 100 questions. ALSO, know that everyone studies differently. If you don't see improvement, try a new method. Try reading out loud, try teaching it to someone, try cue cards, try quizzes. Take as many quizzes as you can! Just because one way worked for one person, doesn't mean it's the golden way for everyone. I read up a lot on forums and took in what I liked about different people.

I am writing this for those at home who feel hopeless because they have low grades, because they lack confidence, because they don't know who to ask questions to. I cried myself to sleep many nights because I was so nervous. Have confidence in yourself. If you think you can, you can. Think positive thoughts. And like my mother always said, you can fail a test but you can't fail as a person.

Editorial Team / Admin

Silverdragon102, BSN

1 Article; 39,477 Posts

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 35 years experience.

Moved to the NCLEX forum